KVW How To Use Sound Masking and Acoustics Together

Productivity levels tank in a distracting environment. We all know the feeling of trying to concentrate when an unexpected sound surprises us, pulling away our focus. Creating a productive and calming atmosphere must include sound management. Sound masking and acoustics work hand in hand to make your office productive and compliant with speech confidentiality requirements. 

Is Sound Masking Different Than Acoustics?

Acoustics can impact different spaces in many different ways. While sound masking is absolutely related to acoustics, they’re not quite the same. When it comes to interior design, acoustics describe how sound moves through a room. A room with “bad acoustics” is likely loud, with sound reflecting off many different surfaces making it particularly noisy. This can easily happen in open-plan offices, cafeterias, and conference rooms. 

Acoustical panels and other products can be used to absorb sound to create better acoustics. Sound masking, on the other hand, actually creates noise in a very specific way. Sound masking doesn’t absorb noise, but introduces white noise at a frequency that mimics distracting background noise. This effectively makes intruding noises less distracting by making them fade into the white noise. Sound masking and acoustics can be used together to create optimal working environments.

Why is Sound Masking Important?

Sound masking steps in when acoustical treatments are insufficient or impractical. We work with Michael Barkman, National Sales Manager and Owner of Sound Management Group, to help our clients with both acoustical solutions and sound masking. 

Sound masking can be fully concealed in your ceiling, making it effectively “invisible” where acoustical solutions are not. When visible speakers are used, they blend into the background. It’s also highly customizable, making the sound uniform throughout your office, and is uniquely tuned to your space. This makes sound masking a great fit in environments where speech confidentiality is required like in healthcare and legal settings. 

Sound Absorbing Swaps You Can Make In Your Office

One way you can make a huge improvement in the sound of your office is to use products that do double duty. Lighting, dividing walls, and even planters can be used to help absorb sound. 

The BuzziCube is a practical choice: it’s both an ottoman and a sound absorption tool. Made from soft acoustic foam, the BuzziCube can be easily moved and reconfigured for collaborative spaces. 

The Haworth Cabana Lounge has high walls that creates a cozy work environment while reducing distraction. The walls don’t just decrease visual distractions, they also reduce noise distractions. 

Office plants don’t just increase happiness and creativity – they can also be used to absorb sound! The BuzziPlanter is made from high-density foam to effectively absorb ambient sound, making your office more comfortable. 

Acoustical Art

Not every acoustical product needs to blend in. You can also make a beautiful statement that also absorbs sound! 

Digitally printed fabric allows you to create nearly any piece of art for your business as an acoustical panel. The wall art shown above in a large conference room also acts as sound absorption!

Custom sound-absorbing art can also be created with local rug maker, Avenue Rugs. Utilizing the sound-absorbing properties of wool and cotton, Avenue Rugs creates beautiful art that helps to reduce noise in busy rooms. 


KV Workspace helps our clients create an office, healthcare, or commercial environment that puts people first. Great sound management helps employees and patrons to feel at ease and protect your business when speech confidentiality is required. To learn more about how sound management solutions can benefit your space please get in touch with Marie Richoux and set up a meeting. Send an email to marier@kvworkspace.com to schedule

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